Millions of people get the flu every year and thousands develop life-threatening complications, including pneumonia. Every year, about 140,000 and 810,000 people are hospitalized due to flu complications and between 12,000 and 61,000 die as a result. The good news is, you can avoid the flu and the best way to do so is by getting a flu shot.
Experts recommend that anyone who is at least 6 months old should get a flu shot every year unless they have a life-threatening allergy to the vaccine. There are many myths surrounding flu vaccines that might cause you to think twice about getting vaccinated. Let’s clear up these myths so you can make an informed decision.
Myth #1: Flu Shots are Ineffective
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies depending on which of the flu viruses are circulating. Although there’s no 100% effectiveness rate for flu vaccination, it is still the single best way to keep you from getting it or from suffering any flu-related complications. Flu vaccines in the US can reduce your risk of getting flu by up to 60%. Moreover, flu-associated hospitalizations are reduced by up to 41% and emergency department visits by 50% in children. It also lowers their risk of being admitted to the PICU for flu-related complications by as much as 74%.
Myth #2: You’ll Get the Flu Through a Flu Shot
The vaccine contains inactivated virus, which means it is dead and cannot cause an infection. What it does is trigger your immune system to build antibodies which protects you from getting infected. It is however likely that after getting vaccinated, you feel like you are coming down with flu because you might experience symptoms such as chills, muscle aches and fever but this is just your immune system trying to protect you from foreign elements and creating antibodies.
Myth #3: My Child Has Never Gotten the Flu Virus Even Without Receiving Flu Shots
Every year, thousands are hospitalized due to flu complications. In 2020, there were over 52,000 hospitalizations among individuals 18 years old and younger. While it’s a good thing your child never got sick with the flu before, it doesn’t mean they’ll never get sick with it.
Myth #4: Flu Season Has Already Begun So It’s Too Late to Get a Flu Shot
It’s highly possible for the flu to spread year-round, although it often starts in October. Ideally, you should get your shot before the end of October. But it’s still better to get your vaccine now rather than not get it at all.
Myth #5: You Don’t Need to Get Vaccinated Every Year
The CDC recommends vaccination against the flu annually. Flu viruses are always evolving, and it seems like viruses that cause the flu are different every year. You can protect yourself and your loved ones against the specific viruses by getting vaccinated yearly. Moreover, the protection you get from a flu vaccine weakens over time which is another reason for you to still get the vaccine.
Can a Flu Shot Put You at Risk of Getting Covid-19?
No evidence has been found that could prove the flu shot can put you at a higher risk of getting coronavirus that causes covid-19. There was a study published in January 2020 showing a relationship between flu vaccination and risk of four kinds of coronaviruses, but does not include the virus that causes COVID-19. The study was also found to have used flawed methods.
The flu shot is without a doubt the best line of defense against the flu. Get your Costco flu shot to avoid getting sick and spreading the virus to others.